Guide Unconscious Wisdom: A Superego Function in Dreams, Conscience, and Inspiration

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This is a development of the Logos of Heraclitus and the Nous of Anaxagoras. In other words it is an explanation of the apparent order in the universe with recourse to a metaphysical system.

That Jung continually referred to the symbol which manifests in the individual or cultural consciousness as being the actual archetype itself is also a departure from the Forms in Plato's theory and it is a departure that cannot be accepted if one wants to fully understand the nature of the archetype as a psychological phenomenon. In the Republic a—a , Plato describes the apprehension of the archetypal realities for people in his famous cave analogy. For the normal person it is as if they are imprisoned in a cave with a fire behind them and they are tied to a chair facing towards a wall.

People pass between their back and the fire but the prisoners can only see the shadows which are cast on the wall in front of them. In the same way that the shadows are not the true manifestation of the procession of people in the cave—the symbols by which one perceives the archetype are not the true archetype.

Of course the conclusion to the cave analogy for Plato is to escape through the discipline of philosophy and consequently to be able to see the real. This freedom, however, can still not agree with Jung's multitude of apprehended archetypes: In Phaedo, Socrates teaches Cebes that through the dialectic one can perceive the unchanging nature of the unseen Ideas so that it is apprehensible to the unseen soul.

This discussion understands the 'unseen soul' as part of the original instinctual unconscious and I will refer to it as 'intuition. In other words a form of 'teaching' that seems to come to us from the metaphysical realm. The metaphysical space is being adapted here to mean the a priori unconscious that contains instinctual information and intuition is the personal and subjective grasping of that information which can be apprehended consciously by the individual only in an indirect, subjective and symbolic form. In other words even for the unseen soul or intuition to comprehend the unseen archetypes it is a matter of a constant process of becoming.

Trench's work, cited in the introduction, also makes a very good control for Jung's because he used some of the same historical precedents and his understanding of Plato's conceptualization of the archetypes agrees with my point. For Plato the archetypes are the unseen forms in the heavens and they manifest as 'images' and 'likenesses' or 'similitudes' to humans.

The human apprehensions are not the actual archetypes as Jung argued because, as Trench states, these are mere 'copies' or 'resemblances' of the heavenly forms. Within the same cultural context the apprehension of the archetype may take a very similar form as do two coins that are pressed from the same mold—but different cultures will create various images just as different molds will stamp out various coins.

This nuance is not so pedantic as it may at first appear. One could argue that a symbol is perceived in the imagination of the subject and therefore because this is not being perceived by the senses it could be equated with a direct apprehension. However, the imaginative apprehension of the symbol will take a concrete form even in the dream or vision of the recipient which will translate to a visual manifestation.

In other words in a dream a picture of a god form or a symbol such as a mandala may present itself to the individual as a representation of the archetype but this is still only a subjective imitation which is consciously perceived. The great mistake of analytical psychology is to confuse the conscious symbols with the unconscious archetype.

Unconscious mind

What I am advocating here is a return to the original understanding regarding the apprehension of the archetype as it is explained in the works of Plato and his followers in the Western philosophical tradition. In other words these new books and the system explained within them are a radical and important improvement in the way that the theory of the archetype has been developed by Jung and his followers. There are very important implications with this revision of Jungian psychology that enable the alchemist to differentiate much more clearly between the genuine transpersonal archetypes that assist the path to enlightenment and the unhealthy complexes that hinder the journey.

Culture and the Collective Unconscious. Dissertation accepted at Northwestern University. August If we had only such cases, the task of investigation would be relatively easy, but in reality the proof is much more complicated. Freud, Sigmund. Beyond the Pleasure Principle. London: Psychoanalytic Press. London: Imago Press. Freud, Sigmund; A. Brill trans. Totem and Taboo. New York: W. Strachey, James trans. London: Hogarth Press. Freud, Sigmund; Strachey, James trans. Bonaparte, M. Mosbacher, E. New York: Basic Books.

Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works. Jung, C. Gesammelte Werke Band 7. Collected Works Volume Psychology and Alchemy. Collected Works Volume 8. On the Nature of the Psyche. Princeton: Bollingen. Collected Works, Volume 5. Symbols of Transformation. Collected Works, Volume 9. The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. Gesammelte Werke Band Zurich: Rascher Verlag. Gesammelte Werke Band 6.

Psychologische Typen. Olten: Walter Verlag. Gesammelte Werke Band 4. Freud und die Psychoanalyse. Gesammelte Werke Band 1. Psychiatrische Studien. Merkur, Dan. Unconscious Wisdom. A super-ego function in dreams, conscience and inspiration. New York: Suny Press. Shelburne, Walter A. State University of New York Press.

Trench, Richard C. The Archetype in Spiritual Alchemy. The Psychic Garden. Music and the Soul. Peer reviews for our books. The Dragon Tamer Motif in alchemy and depth psychology. More More.


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Our main focus is the instinct for personal development. The concept of the Archetype and it significance in spiritual alchemy. My translation. Gesammelte Werke Band IX. Gesammelte Werke V. Gesammelte Werke XVI. Gesammelte Werke I. Memories, Dreams, Reflections. Much of this confusion was a deliberate strategy on behalf of the adepts to keep the mystery element intact. The present work is a modern rendering of some of the classic symbols and principles into a unique working model for use by the contemporary magickal practitioner. No apology is given if the system appears pared down when compared to the highly elaborate schema formerly presented.

The important thing to bear in mind is that it works. That our works focus on the psychological elements of the transformation process does not mean that the entire project is reduced to a merely biological or neurological level nor that there is no room for the individual's Soul. The word 'psychology' comes from the Greek psyche which means not only mind but also life energy or Soul.

It is with this depth that the word is used here. It is typical Western dualism to separate spirit and matter or mind and body but this is a mistake. The Soul is the meeting place of the universal spirit with the material plane. The physical aspects of human being stand together with the deeper, spiritual features of our nature and they are treated here as being inter-connected. The spiritual dimension is not brought down to the level of reductionist clinical science: The boundaries of psychology have been elevated to include many of the most profound transpersonal experiences.

This can be seen as establishing a material basis within which the non-material element can be nourished and therefore flourish. A question mark is left over many of the transpersonal dynamics of the process and it is left up to the individual seeker to find their own answer. The concept of the Archetype. The concept of the archetype is central to spirituality in general because it is the inherent, transpersonal nature of the archetypal components of the psyche that act as the motivator and guiding force in the Adept.

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The archetypes, therefore, can be seen as spiritual instincts. This metaphysical understanding is one which stretches back in the West at least as far as to the philosophical schools in Classical Athens. As has been comprehensively demonstrated throughout the book "The Idea of the Archetype", the Hebrew and Christian Bibles cannot be fully understood without a theological engagement with the concept. The concept is also a central ingredient in the transformation dynamics of spiritual alchemy.

After the introductory volumes "The Toad in Magick, Socrcery and Midwifery" and the Spiritual Alchemy Self initiation manual",, our two books on the archetype are written as a full explanation of this arcane art. The first, "The Idea of the Archetype; Ancient and modern" focuses on the theoretical application of the archetype and is available now. The second; "The Function of the Archetype in Spiritual Alchemy" focuses on the practical application and is scheduled for publication at the end of August Despite or perhaps because of its ancient legacy the theory of the archetype has become shrouded in controversy and misinterpretation.

The theological import of the archetype is especially evident in the mystical element of Christianity and it is also plays a very central role in many other schools of mystic teaching. The concepts of the so-called 'collective unconscious' and the concomitant 'archetypes' have become synonymous since the first half of the twentieth century with the founder of analytical psychology, Carl Gustav Jung, who coined the former term.

Contrary to his own better understanding, Jung continually named the subjective symbols that the archetypes produce as the objective archetype as such. This over-working led to an unending confusion of derivative images being labeled archetypes by him and his followers which has seriously dissolved their meaning as a psychological reality. It has also confused the metaphysical understanding of the concept as it is explained throughout the Western intellectual tradition.

Jung was unable to provide appropriate evidence for his contentions which has further brought the concept into disrepute in the larger scientific community. Although Jung clearly stated that the archetypes were either instinctual processes or their compensatory polar opposite, in his work he continually attributed the symbolic images that the archetype produces to be the archetype itself.

This is a distortion and mockery of the original concept and it is also a basis of great confusion about the role and nature of the archetype. Analytical psychology has achieved an almost exclusive voice in the exposition of the archetypes for the last century and therefore it is necessary to elaborate here on the failure of the system which has led to a widespread misunderstanding of the concept. This misunderstanding has been broadly picked up and furthered by Jung's followers.

Jung cited recurring themes as evidence of the existence of specific unconscious images shared among all humans. Still better evidence, Jung felt, came when patients described complex images and narratives with obscure mythological parallels:. This proof seems to me of great importance, since it would show that the rationally explicable unconscious, which consists of material that has been made unconscious artificially, as it were, is only a top layer, and that underneath is an absolute unconscious which has nothing to do with our personal experience.

Jung's leading example of this phenomenon was a paranoid-schizophrenic patient who could see the sun's dangling phallus. The motion of the phallus caused wind to blow on earth. Jung found a direct parallel to this idea in the Mithras Liturgy from the Greek Magical Papyri of Ancient Egypt—only just translated into German—which also discussed a phallic tube, hanging from the sun, and causing wind to blow on earth.

He concluded that the patient's vision and the ancient Liturgy arose from the same source in the collective unconscious. Jung's theory has brought both the concept of the archetype itself as well as that of the collective unconscious into disrepute. If the countless images that Jung named as such were actually archetypes then they would be encountered universally in the symbolism of every culture because they would exist a priori in the instinctual unconscious.

Many of the images that Jung named archetypes are quite widespread but there are none that are universal. Many are very culturally specific and despite his various attempts Jung admitted that he was unable to provide proof of his conjecture that the images or symbols were universal archetypes.

To bolster his theory Jung retreated into the hypothesis that images were inherited into a more specific racial unconscious. This concept weaves its way throughout his writings and in Psychology and Alchemy Jung assumes that by approaching their respective religious dogmas as symbols, rather than literal truth, a Catholic will return to the church while a Parsi will return to the Zoroastrian fire temple.

Freud's concept of the 'super-ego' carries a similar meaning as a cultural level in the unconscious. However, for psychoanalysis, there is no assumption that this specific level was an inescapable jail sentence nor that one must remain with or return to the religious symbols inherited in their cultural situation. According to Freud, a Westerner could gain the same benefit from Yoga as an Easterner whose culture was steeped in the practice.

This is an extremely important difference in the theories of the two pioneers of depth psychology but the most noteworthy point here is that Freud is taking it as a given that there is a primal or innate level to the individual unconscious. As this discussion unfolds we will discover that his whole system centred around an understanding of the so-called primal unconscious that corresponded to the collective or instinctual unconscious. It will be further shown that Freud forged a theory of the archetypes that fused the understanding of the concept as it was expressed throughout the history of Western philosophy with the hard clinical evidence of his psychoanalytic experience.

While it is certainly true that Jung was the first clinical psychologist to use the term 'archetype,' the concept is an ancient idea—as he himself noted. The Platonic Ideas can be described as pre-existent 'Ideals' or 'Forms' that exist in a metaphysical state and influence our conscious apprehension.

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This is a development of the Logos of Heraclitus and the Nous of Anaxagoras. In other words it is an explanation of the apparent order in the universe with recourse to a metaphysical system. That Jung continually referred to the symbol which manifests in the individual or cultural consciousness as being the actual archetype itself is also a departure from the Forms in Plato's theory and it is a departure that cannot be accepted if one wants to fully understand the nature of the archetype as a psychological phenomenon.

In the Republic a—a , Plato describes the apprehension of the archetypal realities for people in his famous cave analogy. For the normal person it is as if they are imprisoned in a cave with a fire behind them and they are tied to a chair facing towards a wall. People pass between their back and the fire but the prisoners can only see the shadows which are cast on the wall in front of them. In the same way that the shadows are not the true manifestation of the procession of people in the cave—the symbols by which one perceives the archetype are not the true archetype. Of course the conclusion to the cave analogy for Plato is to escape through the discipline of philosophy and consequently to be able to see the real.

This freedom, however, can still not agree with Jung's multitude of apprehended archetypes: In Phaedo, Socrates teaches Cebes that through the dialectic one can perceive the unchanging nature of the unseen Ideas so that it is apprehensible to the unseen soul. This discussion understands the 'unseen soul' as part of the original instinctual unconscious and I will refer to it as 'intuition.

In other words a form of 'teaching' that seems to come to us from the metaphysical realm. The metaphysical space is being adapted here to mean the a priori unconscious that contains instinctual information and intuition is the personal and subjective grasping of that information which can be apprehended consciously by the individual only in an indirect, subjective and symbolic form. In other words even for the unseen soul or intuition to comprehend the unseen archetypes it is a matter of a constant process of becoming.

Trench's work, cited in the introduction, also makes a very good control for Jung's because he used some of the same historical precedents and his understanding of Plato's conceptualization of the archetypes agrees with my point. For Plato the archetypes are the unseen forms in the heavens and they manifest as 'images' and 'likenesses' or 'similitudes' to humans. The human apprehensions are not the actual archetypes as Jung argued because, as Trench states, these are mere 'copies' or 'resemblances' of the heavenly forms.

Within the same cultural context the apprehension of the archetype may take a very similar form as do two coins that are pressed from the same mold—but different cultures will create various images just as different molds will stamp out various coins. This nuance is not so pedantic as it may at first appear. One could argue that a symbol is perceived in the imagination of the subject and therefore because this is not being perceived by the senses it could be equated with a direct apprehension.

However, the imaginative apprehension of the symbol will take a concrete form even in the dream or vision of the recipient which will translate to a visual manifestation. In other words in a dream a picture of a god form or a symbol such as a mandala may present itself to the individual as a representation of the archetype but this is still only a subjective imitation which is consciously perceived. The great mistake of analytical psychology is to confuse the conscious symbols with the unconscious archetype.

What I am advocating here is a return to the original understanding regarding the apprehension of the archetype as it is explained in the works of Plato and his followers in the Western philosophical tradition.

Une touche de réel : essais sur la sublimation au sens de Freud et de Lacan in SearchWorks catalog

In other words these new books and the system explained within them are a radical and important improvement in the way that the theory of the archetype has been developed by Jung and his followers. There are very important implications with this revision of Jungian psychology that enable the alchemist to differentiate much more clearly between the genuine transpersonal archetypes that assist the path to enlightenment and the unhealthy complexes that hinder the journey. Culture and the Collective Unconscious. Dissertation accepted at Northwestern University. August If we had only such cases, the task of investigation would be relatively easy, but in reality the proof is much more complicated.

Freud, Sigmund. Beyond the Pleasure Principle.